Archive for the ‘Sydney City’ Category

Darrell Felstead at Foveaux Restaurant (One Hat) puts forward a weird and wonderful menu to suit the adventurous diner. You have a nose to tail philosophy, a creative flair for reinvention and a pairing of unlikeliest of food types. Surely that should pique anyone’s interest? The menu challenges you conceptually and can be confronting if you’re not quite game. There’s the pepper nachos and sour cream ice cream which is said to quite popular or the duck cheese served with smoked duck and cuttlefish. What… is that all together? Or perhaps the veal tail is more to your taste? No matter where you turn, you can’t hide. It is not for the faint hearted and I like that. A lot.

With a Groupon voucher I was able to sample the menu at a reduced cost and for two people we received an entree and main for $59.

Prices quoted below are at al la carte prices.

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Ramen has the power to polarise people to cause widespread debate on “Where to find the best ramen?” and boy will we hunt it down. It is Japanese soul food at its core and has developed from the humble streets of Japan to achieve a cult-like status.

Since its grand opening, Ippudo has been hot on everyones lips.

“Is it as good as they say?” (See previous post).

Whether you agree or disagree, Ippudo has to be said and done.

I was invited to return to Ippudo to take on a crash course ramen 101 session and to learn more about the Ippudo experience. There was also the offer to try all their ramen. How could I refuse.

Dress with expandable waistline?? Check!

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Brought to you by a husband and wife team, Devon Cafe is lead by a formidable ex-legion of Guillaume chefs right at the helm. Stirring double the trouble, Devon has two ex-Guillaume chefs. One from Guillaume at Bennelong and the other from Bistro Guillaume, Melbourne.

Meeting with Derek (husband) & Noni (wife), you quickly begin to understand their passion and love behind their food. They intend to push if not, merge the boundaries between fine dining and casual cafe culture, turning their food-baby-love-child (Devon) into something really special. food collage - thin border fpn

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Some say that Zilver is their ‘go to’ yum cha spot and that it is one of the better Chinese restaurants around.¬†I haven’t really been there myself so I took advantage of one of the Groupon Vouchers on offer. $49 for 2 people for a 6 Course Peking Duck Banquet. Yippie-kai-aye!

I used to be a bit dubious about the online voucher experience. Over time, I’ve become more comfortable. Bloggers alike seem to swear by Groupon for being the best place to grab a food voucher for decent restaurants. For hatted restaurants too.

Convinced? I am.

Now, all I do is click, click, click. Buy, buy, buy… and if I can eat at the likes of Tokonoma, Foveaux & Blancharu, why the hell shouldn’t I?

(Posts to come).

duck 2

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It’s over to Cafe Sydney for Ms G’s birthday. After searching high and low, I wanted to get the right venue that had the right mix of atmosphere, great food and that also took advantage of what was left of the good weather. Cafe Sydney seemed like just the spot.

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Guillaume Brahimi has announced on the 2 July 2013 that Guillaume at Bennelong will be shutting its doors by the end of 2013. Read here for further details. 

Guillaume Brahimi has had a formidable career to date. Born in Paris, his star was on the rise taking on various roles at three michelin restaurants.

Moving to Australia, Guillaume earns a record breaking two chef hats within 6 months of opening his restaurant Pond.¬†He is later invited to turn around Bilson’s at Circular Quay (now Quay) with no chef hats and 11/20 rating, remarkably taking Bilson’s to receive the coveted three chef hats.

In 2001, Guillaume is awarded the highly sought after contract to take over the restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Within a year of its debut, it is recognised as one of the top 50 new restaurants in the world. The restaurant has a long list of accolades under its belt. Awarded year in and year out, it reaches the pinnacle (three chef hats) and today sits as a two chef hat restaurant with a 17/20 rating.

With his culinary prowess set against the backdrop of the most breathtaking views of our iconic foreshore. It is hard to believe that Guillaume at Bennelong is not on anyone’s hit list. This may be more the case than ever before, now that the space for the restaurant is up for tender with rumours that it may transform it into a cheap eats venue.

That said,  I was able to pay Guillaume a visit for my birthday before any major overhaul thanks to my sister Рagirlhastoeat.

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I’m a regular here and this is easily one of my favourite lunch spots around work. Every time I walk in I’m greeted with a, “Ciao bella” and if I’m lucky enough I will get a kiss on the cheek, breathing an Italian charm into the place. Even if I’m walking along the street and they spot me, it is still ciao bella time.

Serving up outstanding dishes with quality ingredients, everything is reasonable priced and well-portioned. I would go so much as to say that they serve the best Italian in the CBD. It is best to book or come in just at 12 to beat the lunch rush. Otherwise, get your food to go and they’ll knock off a couple of dollars. Somewhere between the $2-$4 dollar mark.

The lunch menu is organised by antipasto, panini, salads and pastas, where you can order your choice of pasta and sauce. The menu is waited on by super charged energizer bunny staff who hop, skin and leap around you efficiently. Their full-of-life personalities are so infectious that it can’t help but always seem to brighten up my day.

linguine boscaiola

More often than not, I will order the linguine boscaiola ($16.50). It is the ultimate, served with pancetta, mushrooms, caramelised onions in a cream sauce. The use of pancetta and caramelised onion add another dimension to this favourite. The pancetta creates a lovely smokiness and chewiness while the caramelised onions carries a sweetness into this savoury dish.

The side of parmesan is served in a generous bowl, so you can sprinkle as much or as little as you like. Most places tend to serve you pittance and I think this tiny detail makes such a difference to the experience and taste of your meal, especially when the parmesan is of such a high quality.

Garlic bread ($5.50) is beautifully fragrant and crusty, it is the perfect contraption for dipping, especially into somebody else’s¬†plate!

linguine w peas

Linguine with peas, pancetta, garlic, chilli & truss tomatoes ($16.50) is not for the faint hearted. It packs a bit of a kick and is full of flavour with the chilli and garlic. Again, the sauce takes on a delicious smokiness with the use of pancetta. This is so stunning, it’s hard to think I am on my lunch break. Shouldn’t I be at a food court somewhere?

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The Rook is the newest venture from the Keystone Group and is responsible for likes of The Loft, Cargo Bar & Bungalow 8. It is considered the latest Rooftop bar to hit Sydney. Well… ‘ish’. There is an open bit, some windows (some plastic-ky ones) and hopes to make the rooftop retractable.

It appears to be loosely based on London’s Burger and Lobster concept, where the menu is limited to burgers and lobsters. Word of mouth is that the food isn’t The Rook’s strong suit. Its a great place to have an after work drink, draws on a buzzy crowd, bangs out some good tunes but appears to fall short on the food front. Remaining positive, I am keen to find out for myself.

lobster roll.

The lobster roll ($25) comes positively jammed packed. The lobster filling includes additions of potato, corn, mayo, onion, jalapenos and bears a strong likeness to a potato salad. Unfortunately, it was under seasoned and missing a bit of punch. Yet the flavours were strong enough to overwhelm the delicate lobster.

Being one who likes to “eat with their eyes” I found that I would have also preferred the lobster in larger chunks. I really wanted to see the hero of dish and then, I wanted to be able to feel it when I tasted it.

truffle fries

Truffle fries quickly make for good munching. Yet the truffle flavour is lost on me very quickly and appears to be only lightly doused. They smell and taste delicious at first but unfortunately the wonderful aroma quickly subsides. The side of tomato salsa quickly comes to the rescue. It’s smokey, tangy, acidic and quite intense. Delicious as it may be it doesn’t quite make up for the absence of that beautiful truffle.

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gnome space

Gnome is located¬†just moments away from¬†the main hustle and bustle of Crown St. It’s a great spot for breakfast, brunch & lunch. It¬†operates as a cafe by day and wine bar by night. So you can wine and dine on Wednesday to Saturday nights if you fancy.

Food is cheap and cheerful, which is¬†great given that the produce is locally sourced, sustainable and organic¬†but it¬†comes without the price tag.¬†Staff are switched¬†on¬†and personable in their approach, ¬†that when¬†you order your next round of coffee, they¬†remember your coffee¬†order¬†to the letter¬†– no questions asked. You really can’t go wrong.

coffee

Brazil takes on the ocean trout sandwich ($12). Served with capers, dill, mascarpone & watercress. At $12, I am really impressed with the quality of ingredients and serving size of the sandwich not only in its entirety but also with the generous helpings of ocean trout and subsequent fillings.

ocean trout

I opt for the ultimate self destruction and¬†take on¬†the super grilled cheese ($12). It’s stuffed with cheddar, gruyere, buffalo mozarella & prosciutto. The cheeses are fit for purpose and are¬†served at melting point.¬†Again, at¬†$12¬†I¬†more than impressed with the variety and quality of cheeses. And more so, at the amount of it¬†that is served.

So much so, that the sandwich had this pulsing white buffalo centre, which I had to squeeze and pop open. Which was pretty spectactular. And to top it all off, there are these beautiful prosciutto layers on top that blends remarkably well. Adding a meaty saltiness against all the other creamy and crunchy textures of the cheese and bread.

super grilled cheese

Welcome to Gnome Espresso & Winebar, for a great little find.

Gnome Espresso and Winebar on Urbanspoon

After a 17 month restoration project the Gowings building has been resuscitated back to life with the QT Hotel Рa hotel, spa, bar and restaurant. Inside you will find the Gowings Bar and Grill Рa European style brasserie serving up seafood, steaks, woodfired meats and rotisserie fowl. Try and time your visit for Friday at lunch for the pinot and suckling pig special, if you can.

Located between the historical Gowings building and the State Theatre, the Bar & Grill has that staged New York Broadway¬†feel to it. ¬†Walk on in and you will taken by the slab of tuna hanging by its tail cut wide open and red raw. Hello… fish bits.

With its extensive menu, it is difficult to decide what to eat and what to forego. Everything looks like a win and equally very expensive. $38 schnitzel anyone?

crab cakes

For her entree Ms G takes on the hot spanner crab cakes ($19). I’m given a taste and already I’m hit with food envy. It’s the combination of the beautiful crumbs,¬†fleshy crab pieces and the creamy aioli that I would happily come back for.

oysters

Sydney Rock Oysters ($5 each)

steak tartare

I’m always a sucker for steak tartare ($29) but I found myself slightly disappointed. There is no questioning the quality of the ingredients but it wasn’t the traditional steak tartare I had in mind. It was far more creamier and lacked the tang and pep I was hoping for. The shoestring fries, surprisingly came out as the hero of this dish.

yellowfin tuna tartare

Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18)

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